Former Politicians Reflect on Life After Office - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Former Politicians Reflect on Life After Office

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Tax Commissioner Cory Fong isn't the first statewide office holder to leave before his term ended and move on to life outside of government. Cory Fong was appointed tax commissioner after his predecessor Rick Clayburgh stepped down in 2005. And just like Fong, Clayburgh says it wasn't an easy decision.

"Politics can be kind of difficult sometimes on the family and so back in 2005 my wife and I made the decision that I would apply for this job and was fortunate to be selected and left nine great years in the tax department," says Clayburgh.

He now serves as President and CEO of the North Dakota Bankers Association and says and while it's different from his previous work, he says he enjoys what he does.

"Sometimes it's interesting you know I'm involved in the legislative process now on behalf of the bankers of North Dakota and so I'll be watching discussions about tax policy and you know of course that kind of brings back memories," says Clayburgh.

Two years after he stepped down, another state official decided he would move on as well and former insurance commissioner Jim Poolman announced he would be leaving the public eye.

"Now I get to explore a different side of things but still be involved in the community, still be involved in public service but also being able to do other projects as well," says Poolman.

Those projects include running a consulting firm in Bismarck and becoming part-owner of the Blarney Stone.

"The restaurant is doing well. We are really excited that we're expanding to the West Fargo marketplace and we're opening a Hampton Inn next month on the north side of town that I'm involved in and then of course I'm involved in some commercial real estate protects and residential real estate projects which all seem to be going well," says Poolman.

He says they expect the Blarney Stone in Fargo to open in March.

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